Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Last Post of 2012! :O

Hey everyone! Just a little quickie to tell you all that I hope you have an amazing New Year - the next day or two I'll probably be too swamped to post so thought I should post this now! 2012 has been a great year for this blog and I hope it continues on into 2013 - a big shout out to all you readers, followers and publishing companies who have graciously given me books to review! I love you all and can't thank you enough! xD

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I know, I know, I'm terrible! I only managed to complete three out of the five days for Top Ten week *hides face shamefully* '_'

PPS: Having some technical difficulties with this blog at the moment - for one, it's not letting me change/customize the layout and it's driving me nuts! Hopefully it'll be all fixed soon but at least you know what's to blame if my layout suddenly looks funny! :P

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Top Ten Week, Day 4: Best Book Boyfriends


Top Ten of 2012 is a feature hosted by Two Chicks on BooksFiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. I know, I know, I skipped a day! I just didn't have any time to post yesterday so there was no top ten list unfortunetly! :( Anyway, on to today's top ten - best book boyfriends of 2012! :)
 
Zach from Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5) by Ally Carter!
 
 
Ben from Slated (Slated #1) by Terri Terry!
 
 
Liam from The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1) by Lisa M. Stasse!
 
 
Zeke from The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa!
 
 
Julian from Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver! 
 
 
Tamani from Destined (Wings #4) by Aprilynne Pike!
 
 
Four from Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth!
 
 
Xander from Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie!
 
 
Elder from A Million Suns (Across The Universe #2) by Beth Revis!
 
 
Perry from Under The Never Sky (Under The Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi!
 
Roar, another character out of this book, is another very honourable mention! :P
 
 So, yup, all of those swoony characters up there each have a special place in my heart! ;)
 
Who are your 2012 book boyfriends?
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
 
PS: Thought I'd just do a little shout out to thank both my new and old followers - you make blogging all that more special! ^.^

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas! PLUS Top Ten Week, Day 2: Best Covers of 2012!


Top Ten of 2012 is a feature hosted by Two Chicks on BooksFiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

For day two of the Top 10 week the topic is The Best Book Covers of 2012. Since there are just SO many, I've decided to only use the covers of books I've read (which I think the hosts are hoping we do anyway). :) My choices for today are:


I just adore this dress! Ohmygosh, it's so beautiful! I also love the colours and the way reflections are used in the background! :)

Again, another beautiful dress with a gorgeous red colour! I also like the symbolism used on it - you sort-of have to have read the book to fully understand it. ;)
 
I absolutely adore the background on this one. The moon and the ocean are gorgeous and it easily catches the eye! :D
 
All the different edition covers for this book are all beautiful but the one I've used up there is the edition I own. The colours are really subtle and complement each other which I like! ^.^
 
I know some people aren't actually fond of this cover but I really quite like it. You can tell the mood of the novel by the colours and texture and I really like the way her eyes stand out and contrast. >.<
 
Probably not the best cover out of the trilogy but still effective in its simplicity. Again, there is symbolism used (the red colour for the red pill... if you've read the book you'll get what I mean)! :]
 
Absolutely love this cover! The font and colours of the title are pwetty and the colour of the grass sets everything off perfectly! ^.^
 
Another lovely cover! Love the city backdrop with the almost magical feel to it and the way the girl's hair graduates into something else! (:
 
Loving the peacock feathers on this one! Peacock feathers are just beautiful! Plus the gorgeous pink-tinted petals and perfectly formatted title? Love! :]
 
 I actually prefer the purple edition to the one above but this one is my edition and still pretty nice! I admire the way the model's hair has morphed into crows at the back and the bold yellow backdrop! :D

Other honourable mentions are What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (UK edition) and The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke!
 
What are your favourite 2012 covers? :)
 
 Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Merry Christmas, bookworms! I hope you got everything you wished for (I got some amazing looking books that've been on my wishlist forever - I'll be having a special Christmas Edition Showcase Sunday!) and you have a great time with family and friends!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Top Ten Week, Day 1: Best Books Read in 2012!

Sorry to bring you another list today but I was literally just browsing through a few blogs when I came across this feature that's being hosted by A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and it caught my eye. Basically it's where each day (over the last five days of December) a new Top Ten topic will be put up on the hosting blogs and participants can then post up their ten choices on their own blogs.

The topic for today is... Best Books Read in 2012! :) My choices are (in no particular order);



The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Slated by Teri Terry
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Entangled by Cat Clarke
Milledgeville Misfit by T.L. Gray
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Some other honourable mentions are Pegasus and the Flame by Kate O'Hearn, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. :)

Since I'm in a rush I don't really have any time to put on Goodreads links but I do recommend all of these wholeheartedly as they are all FANTASTIC! I might be able to edit this post later and put on the links... we'll see. :)

What are your favourite books that you've read in 2012? (:

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: The second row of book covers is unintentionally smaller than the first row - thought I'd let you know incase you were thinking that it meant the top five must be better or something, haha. :3

My Top 5 Most Awaited Books for January 2013! :)

Today I thought I'd do something a little different (to take a little break from the reviews I've been trying to catch up on) to get us all excited for next year - I'm going to list my top five most awaited releases for January 2013. I did think of doing my top five for the whole year but, well, that would be way too tricky! :3 Anyway, following are the books I am most looking forward to reading once they come out next month (leading up from the one I'm least excited about to the one I'm most excited about)! :)  I know I've probably forgotten some other books that I'm also really excited for but... oh, well!

Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
Release Date: January 22nd 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading book one in this series!
 
Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.


MY THOUGHTS: I'm looking forward to this one because I read and thoroughly enjoyed its prequel, Everneath. It was really unusual and the ending was heartbreaking so I just need to know what happens next! I much prefer Jack over Cole though so this will be interesting... ;)
 
Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Applehans
Release Date: January 15th 2013
 
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.

Then a girl in a neighbouring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.

Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.
 
MY THOUGHTS: I'm super excited for this one as I haven't really heard much about the author and the book just sounds so unique compared to everything out there! Oooh, and is that synopsis hinting at a love triangle?! :D
  
Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: January 8th 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading book one in this series!
 
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder,
Can their love survive through the ever night?

 
MY THOUGHTS: I read Under The Never Sky a while ago now but all I remember is loving it! Not only was it dystopian (woop, woop!) but it was super unique and nothing like anything else I'd ever read before! I also absolutely adored the romance between Aria and Perry so can't wait to meet them again - along with all the other characters! x)
 
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 1st 2013
 
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
 
MY THOUGHTS: Eeeek, this sounds amazing! I'm absolutely in love with the concept of this book and certainly hope that it will not disappoint! I love that it's taken a twist on the normal fairy tale and that there is a love triangle in it! YAY! xD
  
Shades of Earth (Across The Universe #3) by Beth Revis
Release Date: January 15th 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading previous books in series!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has travelled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.
MY THOUGHTS: Ohmysweetgoodness! I am SO, SO, SO, SO excited for this book! This series has been AMAZING and if you haven't read it yet then shame on you *inserts mean facial expression here*! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED A Million Suns (book #2) and that ending has had me tearing my hair out for months and months and months because I knew how long I had to wait until the final book *sniffles now that she realises this will mean the series will be over soon*! Now here it is! AHHHHH, I can't wait to read it! It better be super AMAZING - luckily, I have faith in the author! However, this cover? I don't like it one bit. 

What January 2013 releases are you eagerly anticipating? :)
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Book Review: Code

Author: Kathy Reichs, Brendan Reichs
Edition: Young Arrow Hardback (Early Copy)
Released: 3rd January 2013
Series: Virals #3
Pages: 408 approx.

**Synopsis contains a minor spoiler in first paragraph about previous two books and review contains one slight spoiler about the series that will need to be highlighted to read.**

Life appears peaceful on Loggerhead Island. Rescued from financial disaster, the research institute is flourishing once more. But the tranquillity is quickly shattered when Tory Brennan and her technophile gang discover a mysterious box buried in the ground.

A seemingly innocent treasure hunt soon turns into a nightmarish game of puzzles, as it becomes clear that one false move will lead to terrible, explosive consequences.

The clock is counting down rapidly. Can Tory and the Virals crack the code in time to save their city - and their own lives?

MY REVIEW:

When I first received this book through the post, I literally squealed with excitement and started dancing around my room. I'd loved the previous two books in the series - Virals and Seizure - and couldn't wait to start reading the latest instalment. And, though it was still a really great read, unfortunately, it just wasn't as good as the other two. I found a couple of faults. :(

I think I'll start off with the negative first. Now, when I first started reading this series, I was thirteen - a couple months away from my fourteenth birthday - so I was round about the same age as the main character, Tory (who was fourteen). I'm fifteen now and what I'm finding a little strange is the fact that the authors haven't really developed (or aged) the characters since the first book. Now, I know that this won't be counted as a fault to other readers, but, personally, I enjoy it a lot more when characters develop and you start seeing significant changes. But this just isn't happening for the Virals gang - they're basically the exact same as they were in the first book.

Due to this, the one aspect in the book that I'd been hoping would progress and develop (the romance between two certain characters) just isn't happening! It's actually started to feel like it's being avoided. There's been many subtle and not-so-subtle hints throughout all three books connecting the two together but I'm still waiting for the authors to take action and, because of this, I'm starting to get tired of waiting. :(  **SPOILER (highlight to read): Those of you that have highlighted this probably know that I'm talking about BEN and Tory, right? Well, are any of you getting as frustrated as me?! I mean, it's been long enough already! However, I must say that this book probably does contain the most romance... especially nearing the end. But it isn't satisfying me enough!.

Anyway. That being said, I still did thoroughly enjoy this book. Yet again, I loved the banter and witty comments between all four Virals and the type of friendship they had was sweet and enjoyable to read about. Tory still narrates very much like how a teenager speaks and her thoughts are rather relatable because of this. There are also a few chapters in third person thrown in to add effect and more development of the story from different angles and characters. I also found that, like in Seizure, I would love to have the gang as friends of my own! Their sarcasm reminds me very much of myself. ;) I don't even have a favourite as all the characters are very likeable and admirable in different ways.

The plot line for this book was actually pretty creepy and sinister and I was quite jumpy whilst reading it! It didn't help that I was reading it at two in the morning either! I also didn't expect the culprit behind this mystery so the thrill and the need to know who it was kept me from putting it down. However, there is one twist at the end that I didn't think completely necessary - it just didn't make that much sense. Though you won't know which one I'm talking about until you read the book! :P

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Though I found the development of some aspects lacking and one of the twists nearing the end a little pointless and resulting in way more negative feelings, the characters and their relationships along with the constant mystery of who was behind it all, kept me hooked. This book also leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger that will have you eagerly - and grudgingly - waiting for book number four. I mean, I have to wait for forever for the next book now! :(  I would still recommend you read this book if you have loved this series but, if you're like me, you might be a tad disappointed it wasn't quite as amazing as you'd hoped.

 FOUR STARS! :D
A big thank you to Random House for sending me out an early copy of this for review!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Sorry this review was rather long, rant-like and confusing! :3

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Book Review: Reached

Author: Ally Condie
Edition: Razorbill, Penguin Paperback
Released: 30th November 2012
Series: Matched Trilogy #3
Pages: 512 approx.

**Synopsis contains spoilers for the previous two books but review is spoiler free.**

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

MY REVIEW:

Well, well, well. That’s it. That’s the trilogy all over. And even though, in all honesty, I haven’t been the biggest fan of these books, it still saddens me to think there will be no more tales following the lives of Cassia, Ky and Xander. Surprisingly, I think I will miss them. :(

With the previous two books, most of my problems lay with the pacing. I always found the novels too slow most of the time - my attention always started to wander as some parts just dragged on and on... But I stuck by this book more than I did the others. I just so badly wanted to see how everything turned out so much so that I refused to let myself put the book down.

Unlike Matched or Crossed, I found this book pretty emotional. It was mostly toward the end, however, so I suppose that's quite normal with any last book in a series. It did surprise me just how emotional I found it though! I was near tearing up! :3

Unlike the previous two books, in Reached there are chapters in Xander's point of view - as well as Ky and Cassia, of course. And I have finally come to the conclusion that he is my favourite character out of the whole series. I don't know why exactly - it's more complicated than you would think... I liked him in the first book. Ky in the second. And now I'm back to him again. So, yeah, I suppose you could say I'm Team Xander! ;) I just loved his personality! Above all, he always stuck by Cassia. He was caring, trust worthy, generous and an overall nice person and I can’t believe it’s taken me the whole series just to see how amazing he truly is! He’s developed as the trilogy has progressed and it’s been an honour to have witnessed it. Cassia’s development too. She’s went from a do-as-you’re-told Society girl to a fighting, confident, rebellious girl. She really has come a long way and I know I’ll miss Xander and her - followed closely by Bram and Eli – the most. However. And this is where I’ll probably be upsetting some of you (and I apologize in advance)! ... *smiles sheepishly* I didn’t really like Ky in this book. Once I’d figured I preferred Xander to Ky, I must have just thought: Oh, well if I prefer Xander, then I must not like Ky! Which I know is unfair... but that’s usually what ends up happening with me if there’s even the slightest of a love triangle involved. :3

Yet again, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Condie’s writing style. On one hand I admire it as it is rather poetic and beautiful in a way, but on the other hand, I find that (for me) it could drag on sometimes or get a little confusing. But I know some people out there would just adore this writing style – I’m quite sure of it. ;)

Anyway. Overall, I found this series good. Not great, or amazing, but still likeable all the same. The characters did affect me enough that I do feel quite sad that their story is over and, on some level, I must have found this series worth noting since I have read all the books. I know that there will be loads of people out there that would love it (and for those of you out there that like the sound of it, I do say give it a go!), but for me, it didn’t quite stand out enough that it made it into my favourites!


THREE/THREE AND A HALF STARS! :)
A big thank you to Penguin for sending me out this book to review!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
 
PS: As this book was given to me so as I could post a review up on Spinebreakers (Penguin's website), I also wrote some creative content to go with it! It's a poem I wrote based on the first book when Cassia started to fall in love. It's not too long so I'd love it if you could check it out and maybe leave a little comment? Just click HERE to read it! :D

Monday, 17 December 2012

I'M BACK! {Plus; My Review Haul For December}

Yay, yay, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! My prelims are finished!
... Some went well, some went terribly (ahem, maths and admin, ahem) but I am SO, SO, SO happy they're over! :) Comeeeeee on, Christmas! xD But of course I'm not just going to have a post stating my return, I've got a book haul for you all! Basically, the following books have all been given to me for review and I am hoping to read and review all of them over the Christmas holidays! I do have some more on the way too - I thought that since it was Christmas and that I'd have sat my Prelims by then, I deserved to indulge myself in review books... so that's what I did! ;)


Silent Saturday by Helen Grant (Proof/ARC) - I hadn't really heard of this book before I received it from Random House but, after reading the synopsis, it sounded so good I was surprised that I hadn't come across it on any other blogs. I think it's a murder mystery thriller - so I'm really excited to get on to it! :D

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie - I'm currently reading this one but not really that into it yet. The previous two books in this series - Matched and Crossed - weren't really that great so I'm hoping that this one finishes off the series with a bang! I actually got this book from Penguin to review on their website, Spinebreakers but I'll most likely post it up here too! :)

How to Fall by Jane Casey (Proof/ARC) - This is another review book from Random House that came around the same time as Silent Saturday did. Again, I hadn't really heard much of this author but this book sounds fantastic (another thriller!) so I'm super excited for it!

Code (Virals #3) by Kathy (and Brendan) Reichs (Early Copy) - Eeeeek! I have absolutely LOVED this series so far and can not thank Random House enough for giving me an early copy! I can not wait to get on to this - it'll probably be one of the first I'll review!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - This is another book I've received for review for Penguin's Spinebreakers and to tell you the truth, it's never really appealed to me. But I'm willing to give it a go and see how I feel about it - I have heard good things about it after all! :)

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Early Copy) - Another huge, huge, HUGE thank you to Random House for this book too! It's been on my wishlist for a while and I can not wait to start reading it because it sounds AMAZING - so unusual! :D

So that's all so far. I'll make sure to include the other review books I receive in my usual hauls every Sunday. So, yep. Bye, bye for now!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Not Long Now!

Just a little post to tell you all I'll be back soon! Like, real soon! Next Tuesday to be exact! ;D

Can't wait until all these prelims are over... missing you all! :(
- Rachel xoxo

PS: Big shout-out to Zoe and Cliona as both their blogs have now turned two! Can't believe our blogs' birthdays are all really close and that I've known you both for two years now! Whattt?! :O